Category Archives: Child Sex Trafficking

Not Forgiving Years of Incest, Child Rape, and Abuse is not “Weak”

Gandhi said some good things; but unless he only meant the “my neighbor cut down my rose bush” sort of thing, he’s dead wrong on this one:

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi

I file this tripe quote under “religious platitudes”, which means it’s in the “don’t say this crap to child sexual abuse survivors” category. Yes, some survivors can feel comforted by religious stuff, but many more are hurt by it. Unless you know which sort of survivor you are dealing with, and if you actually want to help them more than you want to preach at them, please make sure they don’t mind before you spew this empty and hurtful junk at them.

Not forgiving is weak? Can a compassionate person call weak a survivor who was raped from age four by his father? Molested and raped by his mother since before he can remember? Or when they began renting him at age five to their pedophile “club” of sick rapists? If that boy was raped, cleaned up by his mother to get him ready for the next paid rape, and at the end of the day he had to “service” his father; would any person with a shred of empathy tell that survivor he “must” forgive them, or “God won’t forgive him”? Or quote Gandhi and call him weak?

I assure you, the boy that survived years of that daily abuse, rapes, torture, beatings, being “trained” that he was a worthless animal bred for sexual use for money, is not “weak”. If he has managed to survive to be a man with the guts to become an advocate to help other survivors and prevent other children from being abused, does any person who thinks they want to help have the right to call him “weak”? Or tell him he “must” forgive? No, they do not.

Abusers who rape and sell children aren’t sorry they did these crimes; they are only sorry about being caught and prevented from doing it more. Statistics show the chances of reforming them are dismal, and they also show that nearly all will reoffend if set free to do so. If you want numbers, research it. It’s not hard.

I’ve referenced these resources before, but here they are again, for a flip side on the “you must forgive” debate and showing that being guilted into trying to forgive can harm and re-traumatize survivors of rape at any age (even religious ones):

Forgiveness as a Weapon by Dianna E. Anderson (Faith and Feminism blog)

Must You Forgive? by Jeanne Safer in Psychology Today

I’ll repeat myself as often as I see a need to. I got the Gandhi quote off of the timeline of an “inspiration for healing” huckster who followed me on Twitter. He was blocked the second I saw it.

If you truly wish to help survivors, please have the common sense to get to know them some first. Don’t just assume that what may comfort you will be appropriate to say to them. Also, ask them first how they can be helped or if they even want your help. There are many well-intentioned advocates on Twitter whom I do not follow because the hyper-religious content of their “help” triggers me.

Finally, the big issue: respect boundaries. If you don’t know the survivor, it is far more likely to be acceptable to keep things respectful. Do not assume a familiarity that may seem natural to you, but may feel threatening to them. It’s great if you’re a hugger – but please keep that to yourself, because many survivors do not want to be touched by people they don’t know well and don’t trust. Telling them you are a good person simply isn’t good enough because many abusers say the same stuff. It’s fine to ask if they want a hug, some do; but just doing so can be very alarming. If they have PTSD, like I do, you might even trigger a response that could really ruin your day.

Why respect boundaries? Because most survivors of child sexual abuse had no rights and it can re-traumatize them to have their fledgling sense of bodily autonomy taken away by some clueless impulse hugger with “good intentions”. You want to help survivors? Then put their needs, wants, and boundaries ahead of your impulses; verbal, typed, physical, and spiritual. You don’t know their boundaries? Ask.

For me personally, trust me – I’ve had my choices and rights taken away from me quite enough by my abusers; and I won’t ever forgive them, Gandhi. I don’t have to. The neighbors cutting down the rose bushes? Sure, forgive them; forgive child raping human evil too, if that’s your thing, knock yourself out. But don’t tell another person they “have to” forgive. You have no right to do that.

I am not weak. I am a survivor.

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 1/22/2014
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse; you are not alone. Seek help. Speak out. Find your path to healing.

Please read the Comment Policy before submitting a comment to the moderators. For more about me, you are welcome to read my story and visit the About page.

Thank you for reading.

Sex Ed, Consent, Responsibility: Can We Teach Them in Healthy Ways?

***Trigger Warning for child sexual abuse***

Consent can be taught without implying our sons are potential rapists. This is a fact that is ignored by many.

After reading this:

An Open Letter to My Son About Sex via the Good Men Project, 8/24/13 by Janis Whitlock, I was inspired to share my thoughts. Normally, I read the comments – even when they go over 300, but for self-care reasons I stopped reading these. For the record, “most” child sexual abuse survivors do not grow up to abuse kids, and “most” predators of children were not abused as kids. There is a pitiful amount of ignorance about this in those comments. Please educate yourself on abuse myths and statistics; that is the whole point of this post, after all: education and being proactive about it.

As a general disclaimer, I should add that as a male survivor of incest, with my mother as one of my abusers, the simple and usually benign notion of a mother talking about sex to her son basically creeps me out. That aside, I am also a dad of four kids, two girls and two boys, and they do need education, healthy information and facts; especially on abuse prevention and combatting child-harming deviants. Their mother and I handle most of this together, and our kids know they can ask either of us anything, or tell us anything.

The above linked article is a mother’s letter about sex to her son. In my opinion, it goes from “let’s have a healthy talk about sex not being bad” to “you are a boy so please don’t rape anybody” in 0 to 60 seconds. The whole letter isn’t bad, just certain parts, and I object to the saturation of anti-porn sentiment (porn depicting adults being legal) and the writer’s opinions being presented almost as facts. Teens are going to try to look at porn, the curiosity for boys and girls is already there. Also, if you haven’t talked to your son enough to already know he isn’t the raping type, how can you be sure he even likes girls? Maybe sex isn’t the only thing he’s been afraid to talk to you about?

In particular, it’s irresponsible for a person to make sweeping generalizations about what “all” or even “most” other women or men like or don’t like based on the letter writer’s own preferences and turn-offs, and then teach them as “facts”. Kids shouldn’t be required to become little copies of their parents or care-givers, after all. What if your son has a girlfriend who likes some things on your “women don’t like this” list? Will he think she is weird or gross? That’s not healthy either, right? Can we also stop pretending that only boys are curious about sex?

However, my main point is this: a healthy age-appropriate sex talk and abuse prevention education should include education on consent. There is a healthy way to do this and a damaging way. Saying anything that sounds to a young male like “you’re a boy, so please remember not to trip over your hormones and rape a girl” has no place in a sex-positive educational talk to a teen boy. Odds are, if we’ve raised them to understand, give, and receive respect for themselves and others, our kids won’t grow up to be rapists, killers, bullies, or jerks.

Another thing that is often forgotten or bypassed is that young girls also need to be taught about consent. Their consent and the consent of others are equally important. How many times have little girls kissed little boys when the boys didn’t want them to? Teach everybody about consent, not just the boys.

Finally, we have the ugly situation of many adults not even understanding (or caring about) what constitutes rape and consent. If adults aren’t educated on this, how can we expect kids or teens to know what rape and consent are? I read horror stories in articles on statistics or in the news about men and women who think buying an expensive meal entitles the person to have sex with you, like it or not. Also, far too many adults think a teen boy is “lucky” if his female teacher rapes him – as long as she’s “hot”. Yet if the genders are reversed, most of those people are suddenly outraged. Why?

We as adults need to get educated too, before we try to teach young people. We need to stop teaching them shame and guilt about sex and their bodies. Just because our parents did that, doesn’t mean it should be done to our kids, too. Our kids and teens need to be taught respect for others as well as self-respect. They need to learn that their bodies belong to them and that their bodies and sexuality have value and shouldn’t be indiscriminately given away like they mean nothing.

We also need to change the societal view and pressures that being a virgin is something bad or laughable, a condition to shed, tossing it out like garbage on the junk heap of our lives in some hollow rush to be grown up, to be maybe loved, or to “belong”. I don’t care about “waiting for marriage” in the least. Yet if self-respect and self-worth are taught, perhaps more young people will wait until they feel ready, with or without feeling “in love”. In the absence of pressure and ridicule, perhaps they could make safer and healthier choices.

Sex education, consent education, and abuse prevention education go hand-in-hand, or they should. For those with objections to factual sex ed in schools, do you know you are leaving your children vulnerable to all sorts of traps and tragedies? Abstinence Only doesn’t work. Teen pregnancy rises in any state where that is the only sex ed offered. More importantly, children need to know the proper names for body parts and know how to get help if somebody tries to abuse them. Age-appropriate sex ed and abuse prevention (and consent) can be taught to very young kids, and it needs to be taught to them.

Too many parents don’t find out “it can’t happen to me/in my town/to my kid” isn’t true until after their kid is abused. Don’t make your child pay the price (most often a lifelong and horrible price) for your ignorance and your preference to keep your head in the sand. Learn the warning signs of predatory and grooming behaviors in the people around your children (especially if you think you can trust them). Learn the warning signs of abuse in a child. Talk to your children, let them know they can tell you without fear if somebody is hurting them or making them afraid. This goes for bullying, mental health issues, etc. How many parents have found their child dead from suicide because of endless bullying and the parents never knew the child was being bullied, or never knew the child had mental problems or was being abused, because the child was afraid or ashamed to tell? Also, many kids do tell and are often not believed. Don’t teach your child that telling you they need help will not get them help.

Our kids need these types of education desperately. Many adults need them, too. The “birds and bees” sex talk dreaded by so many is far easier to have when you have already educated them on basic body parts, abuse prevention, and respect, long before they turn twelve or fourteen. Sadly, many parents skip those talks entirely and allow society and the media to teach their children, out of embarrassment. If you don’t teach your child, somebody or something else will. Some kids get taught ugly lifelong lessons by abusers, or stumble through pitfalls that a little guidance could have helped them to avoid.

One final point on rape: males aren’t the only ones who rape. Females aren’t the only victims of rape. This is a fact, whether you accept it or not. Telling boys “learn not to rape” is awful. It is in direct opposition to the intention of having a sex-positive talk with your son. Teach consent and sex ed. Foster a relationship where they feel safe to ask questions. Don’t make them think you believe their natural and good sexuality is nasty or potentially evil. That worms into the mind of kids and teens and does some ugly psychosexual damage. Imagine telling your daughter, “Try not to rape anybody.” You wouldn’t do that? Then please don’t say or imply this to your son, either.

I spent most of my life and all of my childhood being raped by adults, men and women. I was four when my father raped me the first time, five when he rented me to others daily. Prior to four, they were training me, grooming me, to accept sexual and physical abuse. At age three, my parents were teaching me how to “service them” sexually. This abuse was all I knew and they lied and said all parents were entitled to sex from their children. That was a pedophile ring, run by my father. They made and sold films and photos and made kids harm other kids in them. It has been an ugly struggle of slow healing to become the dad I am today, and that struggle is ongoing.

When I hear, “Teach men and boys not to rape”, my heart breaks. Teach everybody not to rape. Teach consent and healthy factual age-appropriate sex ed and teach abuse prevention. Learn warning signs…. Before it’s too late.

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 9/11/2013
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse; you are not alone. Seek help. Speak out. Find your path to healing.

Please read the Comment Policy before submitting a comment to the moderators. For more about me, you are welcome to read my story and visit the About page.

Thank you for reading.

Now I Lay Me Down

***Trigger Warning for child sexual abuse***

A man of God once told me, “Good boys are gifts,” but he didn’t mean me. He called me the “Devil’s boy,” always with two fingers and a thumb pinching my cheek on the edge of the terrible scar. It still hurt, even a year after the knife slashed across my mouth, wielded by my god, my father. I would promise to be good, to obey, and this man who liked to call my father “Devil” would look at me strangely, as if amazed.

He came to the house alone, except on rare occasions. He never wanted to see the other men. If he had to, he would pace in the kitchen and harass my mother, trying to preach to her, I suppose. He never spoke to the others. I never knew his name, but when I named them in a poem, I called him Praiser. My father called him “this preacher” and told me to obey.

I was raised to believe that my father was a god. He told me he was, and taught me ways to “worship” him. He said I was his sacrifice, to be used however he liked. I knew no different. He read, wrote and spoke Latin as well as any Catholic priest, just like the men on TV did on Sunday. When Praiser came along, he confused me. When he spoke of his god, he didn’t seem to mean my father; but a lot of the ways of worship turned out to be the same.

Praiser told me I’d been “made to be used for the glory,” because I was a vessel for sin. When he took me into the downstairs room the men rented, he would always repeat the phrase “Now I lay me down.” It made no sense to me then, but my father had told me how to respond. When the man raped and degraded me, he called it “passing his sins into me” so he could go back to his church clean, and free of lust. This preacher paid my father money to use me this way. He wore a fancy suit with a silver cross pin on the tie, and when he was finished, the suit perfect again, he would tell me to dress. Then he would sit beside me and explain that I was wicked, that I would go to hell. He said it couldn’t be helped, because I was evil, and I had a purpose. He told me to ask forgiveness for my sin, and I did, as I sat there bewildered, dazed, and in pain. He said it was to make me ready again, a “fit vessel.” Most Saturday afternoons, he showed up. I was five.

So many times I read or hear statements from religious people about how a survivor “must know God” in order to heal, be clean, be free. To me, god was my father, my first abuser, the man who gave me to all the others. These religious people tell me that I “must forgive my abusers, or God will not forgive me.” These concepts have horrified and confused me, bringing on despair and suicidal thoughts. It is my view that no survivor of any sort of abuse “must” forgive the abusers, and I’ve read articles by psychiatrists and psychologists that support me on that. I’ve also, thankfully, had good people who happen to be Christian tell me that I don’t “have to” forgive unless I wish to, and feel I can. They tell me I was a child and couldn’t fight, couldn’t be guilty of what they made me do. I struggle to believe it.

I try not to disrespect or “bash” anybody else’s religion or lack of religion. This is difficult when so many “people of faith” bash me, for being bisexual or for my Goth appearance. I try in spite of that to keep a “live and let live” attitude. However, many religious people need to realize that not everybody wants to hear about their religion, many don’t share it, and for others, it can be an abuse trigger.

Some survivors might benefit from a spiritual angle to the healing process, whether they were raised religiously or not; but the fact is that not all survivors would welcome that. Many were abused by “men of God”, as I was, most often Catholic priests. Only one of my abusers was a preacher, but most of them went to church. Many pedophiles who are preachers or priests will use scripture and other aspects of their religion, or objects from their religion, to abuse their victims. My adopted parents are Catholics (though excommunicated for being gay) and the first time I heard one of them recite, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray thee Lord my soul to keep … ” I had to run to the bathroom and be sick.

A survivor may not tell you that religious speech triggers them. They may simply go away to deal with the fallout alone. Once, I lay in bed with a knife under my pillow and sobbed, trying not to use it to make the memories stop.

If you wish to talk about religion to a survivor, or tell them how your faith could help them to heal, I implore you to learn first who the survivor is, and how they may feel about religion. If you gain their trust enough to hear their story, listen to them. If they were hurt by people who represented religion, religion and spiritual aspects and suggestions may not comfort them. These things can sometimes stall their healing progress.

To survivors harmed by preachers, priests, nuns, people who claim to be religious; the pronouncement “only God can heal you” could do a lot of damage. It is so vital to know something about the person you want to help before you start. Even if a spiritual approach helped one survivor, it could drive another to despair. If your goal is to help that person, a person in pain … please help them without adding to their pain.

This essay was originally posted here on the Good Men Project.

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 7/23/2012
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse; you are not alone. Seek help. Speak out. Find your path to healing.

Please read the Comment Policy before submitting a comment to the moderators. For more about me, you are welcome to read my story and visit the About page.

Thank you for reading.

Time Heals All Wounds? Time Lies

(Trigger Warning for child sexual abuse and rape. This is a plea to those who are not survivors of trauma; please try to understand how we feel, and what we face.)

“Time heals all wounds.”

This is a concept some swear by, while others disdain and reject it. I’m in the latter group. If I may argue semantics for a moment, take a look at the word “wound”. If you break your arm, a doctor puts it in a cast and it gets better; soon you can use it again and it is healed – just as good as new. For some people, it isn’t that simple. There are emotional, mental, and psychological wounds, and even some physical wounds, that don’t ever heal “as good as new”.

Sometimes damage from a car wreck or a wound received in military combat simply can’t be fixed as neatly as a broken arm in a cast. What of the person who can never walk again? What of the soldier who suffered a brain injury from a head wound and a good portion of his or her mental and physical capacity, and ability, are gone forever? Can we say time healed those wounds? Would those afflicted with them agree?

Emotional wounds are often lumped under the quaint “time heals all” verbal bandage, as well. The stages of grief are bandied about with the same blind fervor of a child rubbing a severed rabbit’s foot for luck. (Speaking of wounds that don’t heal, the rabbit never got his foot back.) People, both the afflicted and their loved ones, often mention this or that stage of grief as if they are an announcer watching a horserace: “He’s in denial, denial, now he’s in anger! Here’s bargaining hedging in from the inside rail, with depression surging up behind. Now coming around the bend, depression and acceptance are neck and neck. Yes! It’s acceptance, folks! Acceptance wins the cup! What a race!”

This chaotic rush to “get over” grief and trauma can cause serious problems down the road, whether the afflicted person rushes their own healing or others pressure them, often due to being tired of hearing about it all. Steps are rushed or skipped by the drive to “be better”, and the external and internal pressure for this can be equal in causing damage. The stages of survivorship (victim, survivor, and thriver) can be rushed in the same manner as the stages of grief. So too, can healing in general be rushed, and some things or stages taken out of the safer order.

Nobody should be under external pressure to “hurry up and get better” and we should all be wary of internal pressure in this area, also. Whether the issue is grief, trauma, injury, mental illness, stress, etc., a solid foundation needs to be built at each stage so that we have firm footing while we reach up to the next stage.

This is the same for things like reporting a rape; it is far healthier to be sure it is one’s own decision for the right reasons. Health, safety, mental health, etc. need to be considered. There is a lot of external pressure in the world to report; but if the victim isn’t ready and despair and social fallout lead them to suicide (or gets them murdered), what is gained? Yes, it is generally preferred to report; help catch the rapist so they don’t rape again, etc. Yet the laws need to change to help victims and survivors, too. The stats I read said that only 3% of rapists ever even spend one day in jail, and that is in the case of reported rapes. That means victims reported, but 97% of rapists go free anyhow. So why re-traumatize a victim who doesn’t feel safe to report? Help them to be safe, instead of pressuring them to act before they are ready. This goes double for a child who has been raped.

With traumas like child abuse, child sexual abuse, and rape, especially when victims are so young that their formative years are still ahead of them, studies have begun to show that things are happening physiologically, psychologically, and emotionally that can physically change the way the brain is wired. Pleasure is introduced via sexual abuse hand-in-hand with pain, in many cases leaving the person with their pain/pleasure wiring so mixed up that they get fused and no amount of therapy or medication can fix that. Trauma-caused problems such as phobias, PTSD, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, sexual dysfunctions, and mental disorders can manifest like a grab-bag of horrors. Only some of these things have medication that helps, or a way to work them out in therapy. Even so, survivors who have felt healed for years can be blindsided by a trigger and have to regroup and cope again to get back on their healing path.

Children like I was, abused and raped many times before the age of six, do not develop normally and have many other problems. Things like trust, love, empathy, and compassion can be terrifying and felt to be “not worth the risk”. The lucky ones get help right away, before the extremes of lies, guilt, and shame can set in and warp self-image and development; but many do not get help until years or even decades later – and some never get help at all.

These problems can overshadow a person’s whole life, and every aspect of their life. How can that person grow to trust and love, seek an intimate relationship, or function even half as well as those who were never traumatized? Guilt, shame, fear, and self-hatred bring other problems, such as: self-harm, unsafe sexual behavior, drug and alcohol addictions, and suicidal thoughts. It becomes a race to see if the damage will destroy a person before they can get help; yet even with help (therapy, medications, a loving support system), many of these problems and much of the damage still remains. Of course, the world doesn’t stop or even slow down for traumatized people, and things like nightmares, flashbacks, and triggers seem to lurk behind every corner.

So what can the traumatized person do? We can learn how to process and heal the things that we can heal, and we can learn coping skills for the wounds that refuse to heal. This is what therapy, medication, and the support of my loving new family helps me to achieve.

Still, it is an ongoing process that I may never be finished with. I was abused and raped for my first twenty-two years on this planet. The first nineteen years were spent as a trafficked sex slave in my parent’s pedophile ring; then the next years I spent homeless in a brutal world of prostitution, starvation, addictions, and still more abuse and more rapes. At this time, I’ve been abused for more of my time alive than I’ve had time away from abuse to begin to heal. In addition to abuse’s inflicted physical, mental, emotional and psychological damage, I am bipolar; a fact I tend to see as a cosmic joke being played on me.

In this state, which others can take breaks from but I cannot, I have found it to be horribly harmful, offensive, and condescending to hear others tell me: “Time heals all wounds.” Will the passage of time make my left eye heal and regain sight after my father ground it out with a lit cigar? Will time restore the mutilation of my face and body? Can time undo the fused pathways in my brain as abuse forged and derailed whatever it could of a child’s developing mind? Can time give me back my physical, spiritual, sexual, and emotional innocence?

This concept of passing minutes must be powerful indeed if it can restore lost experience, too. My first kiss was with my mother. My first time of “sex” was anal rape by my father. Learning to ride a bike? Never did. Prom? It didn’t exist, not for me. First love and making out, giggling with your lover? That was all twisted by my mother, who taught me how to service her from as young as three years of age. Learning how to “be a man” from my father? He taught me how to obey his every command, how to literally worship him as a god, and how to be terrified of him as he raped, beat, and rented my body. Yet time, that vague invention of mankind so that if we count the hours, we’d all know it was “Friday, July 5, 2013”? This concept of passing minutes alone is going to make my body, mind, and past whole and healed? No, it’s not. It can’t, and it never will.

Instead I learn to cope, to process, and through those things, I learn how to heal the things that can be healed. For the rest, there is more to learn about coping and processing, and maybe the healing path in front of me won’t have an end. Maybe healing, like learning in general, will just go on, indefinitely. Despair is a threat, as are triggers. Self-care is a vital lesson. I do not want to die. I want desperately to live. I want to watch my children, abuse-free and loved to bits, grow up and become… whatever they want to become. Through them, I can at least experience a pale echo of things most people take for granted. My oldest is eleven, but someday she may want to go to a prom. She already wants to go to college. My son can learn how to ride bikes, drive cars, and how to be a good man. My twins are only toddlers, but their joy in a simple set of blocks or a sandcastle is teaching me how to feel joy, even if my past mutes the colors and variations of it that they experience.

“Times heals all wounds” is a lie, and for many child sexual abuse and rape survivors it is also a trigger. I’d wager many wounded veterans, people with mental illnesses, and survivors of crippling car accidents may likely feel the same. It isn’t necessary to sooth the hairs on your own arm by handing survivors a hollow platitude like that.

Perhaps examine your thoughts, feelings, fears, and reasons for saying it. Do you sincerely hope the survivor or grieving person will someday heal? Then why not say that, instead? If you reach for the hollow platitudes due to being weary of hearing about that person’s grief or trauma… please don’t. It is far kinder to tell them you are sorry they are suffering and you hope they find their path to healing (and coping). Other hollow platitudes (for me) are: “I’ll pray for you”, “just move on”, “that was years ago”, “you have to forgive to heal”, and other similar empty or triggering words. If you care about being a good person, practice by being kinder to those in pain; especially when the wounds (like grief, mental illness, trauma damage) don’t show up as a visible wound. Perhaps get to know them a little so that you know what may help them and what may trigger or anger them. For instance, religious talk triggers me, no matter how much it may comfort somebody else.

A person suffering from PTSD, grief, trauma, or bipolar deserves the same kind consideration as the person with their arm in a cast; maybe more. After all, the arm will heal and be as good as it ever was. Not all wounds can, or will; for them, we learn to cope. Please help us to cope and heal as much as we are able to. If you can’t do that, then please stand aside in silence and let us get on with it ourselves. Thank you.

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 7/5/2013
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse; you are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.

As Ashes Scatter: My Childhood in a Pedophile Ring

This page was needed, even while posting it triggered me. It is very hard and frightening to speak of these things, but if I can help others, even one, it is worth it.

My story of abuse, in brief:

As Ashes Scatter

I am working on writing my memoir, which can be a very daunting and harrowing undertaking for any survivor. For now, I write it only for me; but I wanted to share some of what I survived, to hopefully help others understand what so many face, even now.

– W.R.R.

Sweet Smoke Rise

The unburied voices
old brittle echoes
of those who never grew older
they spin and strike
inside dark memory
growing detached
as faces and cries
Feel their loss again
as names never known
swirl like smoke
among the ruins
of I will nots
saturated with the stench
of being shown
over and over
the extinguished tiny candles
forced to watch the sweet smoke rise
No single face forms now
they conspire in the deep places
a cacophony chorus screams
from endless mouths
a blur of eyes accuse
as one they crawl
stunted blood path red behind
smeared by so many
tiny little feet
and grasping crimson hands

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 6/3/2013
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse; you are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.

Male Rape Exists & It’s Not Going Away If You Ignore It

The following is an expansion of my comment on this excellent article on the Good Men Project, by Kile Ozier:

Men are Being Sexually Assaulted in the Military, but Nobody is Talking About it

I am a male survivor of rape as a child and as an adult, though I was never in the military. I was born into and grew up in a child sex ring, run by my father. I was raped by both men and women as a toddler and older. The first rape was by my father, when I was four years old. By age five, I was rented for sex and used in the making of child porn. There were many children in the ring, and several of them were boys.

The sad truth is that most people just don’t want to hear that males can be and are victims of rape. Even fewer want to hear that some males are raped by females, and not always in a statutory rape situation. These ignorant people believe males should be strong enough to fight off a rapist, even a small boy should be able to fight off a grown man. They don’t seem to hear how ludicrous they sound. A male can be (and they are) raped in many of the same ways a female is raped, such as ambush, weapons used, rape by a person they trust, drunk victims raped, unconscious victims raped, the list goes on….

I believe and stand by everything Kile Ozier said in the article linked above. I fervently wish fear, disgust, ignorance and resentment wouldn’t blind the majority to the particular horrors that male rape victims and survivors face.

Yes, rape is a horror for female victims and survivors, too. Yet most people don’t doubt that a female can be raped. Doubt and even the refusal to believe (for many ignorant reasons) that males can be raped, along with all the sick stigma and demonizing of homosexuals, are the prime reasons male victims and survivors stay silent.

On the subject of stigma, female victims don’t often have their status as “a woman”, in the cultural sense, thrown into question (and ridiculed) because of rape. Male victims and survivors experience this questioning and ridicule nearly every time if they report the crime, whether officially to authorities, or just to people they know. They are also sometimes attacked, even beaten up, because they were raped. I’ve experienced these things personally.

I can call a male rape victim’s silence self-preservation, because it often is exactly that. Male victims also remain silent and fall into drug and alcohol abuse and suicide because males are told they “can’t” show emotion, ask for help, or tell anybody that they are in terrible pain due to rape.

Male rape, just like female rape, isn’t going to go away or stop by ignoring it. It doesn’t matter if the topic makes you uncomfortable. If your neighbor, brother, son, or best male friend were assaulted with a hammer and needed to heal, would you judge, shun or loathe him? Probably not. So why are male victims of rape judged, shunned or loathed? They are the same man or boy you considered a friend or loved family member before the rape.

Why is “gay” all mixed up and demonized in the stigma surrounding male rape? Rape DOES NOT change sexual orientation. Homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, queer and transmen are raped just as straight men are raped. Being “gay” or not has nothing to do with “asking for it” anymore than a woman wearing a short skirt is “asking for it”. Also, when most male rape help resources only cite “Don’t worry, rape can’t make you gay”, that is a stab in the ribs to any homosexual or GBT rape victim or survivor who comes to your site hoping to find help. Perhaps we need an additional “Don’t worry, rape can’t make you straight” platitude for LGBTQ victims/survivors?

Most males who rape males are not “gay”. They are “straight”. Most pedophile males who rape boys are not “gay”, they are “straight”. So please, America, stop making sick rape jokes about a boy “being gay and getting some” because a male pedophile raped him. Also, a boy is not “lucky” if a hot teacher rapes him. Gay or straight, that boy is raped. If you wish to dispute these points, and you are not a male rape victim or survivor, please sit down and go research statistics on male rape.

I also encounter (many times) a certain type of feminist (though not all of them are like this) who get angry in general if male victims and survivors of rape are mentioned in any context, for any reason. This type of feminist, man or woman, tries to silence me and push their agenda right over me. To my ears, their agenda appears to be this: “Only female victims of rape exist, and even if males are raped, they don’t matter as much as female victims.” Now for those who want to jump in and attack me over this paragraph, you may be the problem. Please sit down and go research the prevalence of male rape.

One of the worst stigmas may be the common rape center/org mantra: Teach Men Not to Rape. How about if we teach all people not to rape? Because some women are rapists, and we should teach girls not to rape right alongside the boys. The prevalent and ignorant notion that “only men rape, only women are raped” needs to be stopped, and stamped out. Why? Because, like it or not, some women and girls rape, and some men and boys are raped.

As a male survivor of rape, I am sick of seeing and hearing others say I don’t exist. Male rape victims exist, folks – whether you want to believe it or not. You can’t make us disappear just because the crime that is destroying us too makes you feel uncomfortable.

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 5/21/2013
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse; you are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.

Child sex trafficking rings are real and they exist in all countries of the world. These monsters use living children to make disgusting films and photos, to sell to other monsters. They rape children. They use children to hurt other children, and the guilt and shame can kill. It will still exist… these children will still suffer… whether you choose to know it or not. Please don’t look away. Knowledge is power, power to save the lives of children.

Gordian Knots: My Parents, My Abusers

My parents. My abusers. They both formed me into who and what I am. To heal, I need to understand them. This is how I feel I need to proceed; your path to healing may or may not be similar to mine.


My mother is a complex and very broken person. She was probably raised with being sexually and physically abused, then married my father. While I felt that I loved her, both parents abused me physically and sexually; he mostly hurt me and she rarely hurt me, but sexual abuse damages with or without physical harm. She worshipped him, so leaving to save us both was never considered. My father rented me out to pedophiles for money and my mother would say, “He hit you because you didn’t obey him. Please don’t make him angry.” She would cry and beg me to be “good” to avoid being beaten by my father, and sometimes he would beat her to punish me, too; yet she never could make a leap to the idea that she should get us both away from him.

I am making progress in therapy to see the monster that my father was instead of blaming myself for how I am now. However, it has been far more difficult to see the wrong she did. I often cling to the few good memories as a defense to protect her from my own sense of anger that she also abused me. Therapy and all the research I do is beginning to help me in seeing that maybe I don’t need to feel guilt about laying the blame for her crimes at her feet instead of my father’s, or my own.

Still, the impulse to protect her is strong. We “trench-bonded” in the Hell that was my childhood. She was the only person who said they loved me and I could feel it was true. Tainting that, though, was how she let my need for love and affection twist into incest, to try to fill her own unmet needs.

I know that I need to strip off the blinders with her as I have slowly been able to do with my father. Yet it still feels like a betrayal to call her an abuser, because she was so often my only solace and protection, even if both were minimal and largely ineffective.

This is just one of the fallout damage problems of incest and child sexual abuse. We are hardwired to love our parents and to want and seek (and try to earn) their love. They take that and use it against us.

I am getting better at seeing the monster within my father. I am more able to say, “How could you do those things to me?” Even though he is long dead now, and I can never have the answers I need, at least now I am more able to ask those questions.

My mother lives across the country and she is not allowed any contact with my children, and only minimal contact (phone, email) with me. She has to remain in therapy, or all contact with me will stop. She is not allowed to be inappropriate to me. I maintain contact out of a need for answers, but if I try to seek answers from her, she just cries and breaks down. I know she is so damaged, as I am. Yet the urge to protect and shield her, even from my own horror and anger, persists.

Sometimes the conflict between all of these feelings ties me into a terrible Gordian Knot of guilt, shame, anger, fear, and self-hate. Yet the sword therapy taught me to wield that has helped me to cut down the Father Knot seems useless on Mother.

If I am brave enough to be honest with myself though, I know that what I must do is try to untangle them; even the severed halves I was abruptly so desperate to cut down.

What holds me back is fear: the dread of what horrors and memories may be released as the crusted-over strands are finally loosened.

I see myself in a stone hallway with these tangled masses between me and the healing I work toward. I have to go through them and past them, but the understanding I want probably lies in the untangling, not in merely cutting them into pieces I can move beyond.

As I hesitate, sometimes I’m afraid the strands deep within may only wind tighter; yet the courage to kneel, set down the sword, and get to work, seems to be paralyzed in my chest.

In these moments, it is all I can do to breathe. Still, as I breathe, I feel the fear calming, the courage rising, a little more.

Breathe… just breathe. Someday, when we are ready, we will know it is time to begin.

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 4/2/2013
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse; you are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.